Peace..But At What Price?

The Irish News in their Friday 21st, edition, have printed an article written by their token Prod Roy Garland, attacking the democratic right of the Loyalist Working Class to peacefully protest against the removal of the Democratically selected National Flag of Northern Ireland,  from the City Hall in the Capital City of Northern Ireland.     In his attack Roy Garland uses the same old underhand tactic,( in reverse gear) that was used repeatedly by The Grand Old Duke of York against the Loyalist Working Class in the past.


   Every time the Grand Old Duke sensed a Working Class Loyalist rising, he would roll out the usual old “Reds under the bed” allegations to successfully falsely discredit potential Loyalist Working Class candidates.  Roy Garland by alleging that the present Loyalist Working Class rising has been infiltrated by the Looney Right Wing, is in fact using the same old dirty underhand scare tactic, that was used so successfully by the Grand old Duke to undermine and defeat the Loyalist Working Class in the past.     Recently I challenged the Editor of The Irish News, with regard to the bitter sectarian IRA propaganda, written by IRA supporter and convicted IRA terrorist Jim Guiney, which the Irish News prints nearly every week.    The Editors feeble excuse was that, they also published articles by Roy Garland as a counter balance.  My reply was that he was talking absolute rubbish, on the grounds that, to compare Jim Guiney with Roy Garland, was akin to comparing a General Purpose Machine Gun, with a water pistol.  In his article Roy Garland tells us about his old socialist working class uncle telling him that, away back in the 1960s the Unionist leaders created a monster which they couldn’t control. It would therefore appear that Roy Garland also considers the Loyalist Working Class Flag Protesters of today to be, a monster out of control.

Please allow me to put you right Roy, in 1964 I was there as a young 16 year old, fighting against the RUC, and attempting to advance up Divis Street to remove the illegal tricolour, from a republican election office in Divis Street. I had like many other Young Loyalists been incited by, but totally unaccompanied by, that Grand Old Monster who spent the following 40years condemning those he had incited and successfully dividing the Unionist People of Northern Ireland.         Just before I set off for Divis Street that night in 1964, my own socialist anti-royalist, but staunchly Loyalist working class Father, told me that I was a bloody eejit and correctly forecast the Grand Old Dukes ultimate intentions.   Today that same socialist anti-royalist but staunchly Loyalist Father, is nearly 93years old, he is connected to an oxygen supply 24 hours a day, as a result of a life time spent working in the shipyard, but despite his illness he has made it perfectly clear that, if he was able, he would be out on the frontline with  the Loyalist Working Class defenders of our democratically chosen National Standard.

Roy Garland attempts to convince us that, the Alliance party and democracy saved the day with their proposal that, the National Standard should be removed and only allowed to be flown on Royal occasions.

What a load of bloody rubbish and misinformation, the facts are that a council approved consultation resulted in nearly 1500 replies in favour of the National Flag and less than 200 against.

This is the gerrymandered type of democracy, which the Alliance party and Roy Garland are trying in vain to justify.   As for the head in the sand, peace at any price tree huggers, who suggest that a neutral flag would be the answer, I will point them in the direction of Downatrick.   For many years the flag of Saint Patrick was flown in Downpatrick as an attempt to create a shared atmosphere on Saint Patricks Day, last year with the full pre-knowledge of the council, the IRA  supporting representative on Down council headed the Saint Patricks Day parade, carrying a large Irish  republican tri-colour instead, he declared that Saint Patricks Day was their day.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Peace at any price is an unsustainable peace. No amount of appeasement was ever sufficient for Hitler and no amount of appeasement will ever satisfy the insatiably cancerous greed, of the IRA.

Charlie Freel.


3 Responses to Peace..But At What Price?

  1. Charlie Freel

    My sincere apologies to everyone named Guiney. The IRA, Irish News propagandist and convicted IRA terrorist I refer to in the above article is of course Jim Gibney.

  2. Roy Garland

    The War is Over: It’s Time to Go Home.

    Charlie Freel is wrong to denigrate the Irish News. While other papers have been reluctant to publish anything positive about Loyalism, the Irish News kept an open door. One supposedly Unionist paper absolutely refused to publish my article on Billy Mitchell,

    I first heard that the Irish News was looking for a Loyalist to write for them at a meeting of the Shankill Think Tank. This was composed of UVF, UDA, UUP and DUP. I approached the paper and began writing for them in 1995. During crucial times for the peace process the Irish News was the only paper prepared to carry a constructive Loyalist perspective.

    If Charlie Freel is a loyalist he should be grateful and should remember that I am not the only unionist writing for the paper. Alex Kane writes on alternate Fridays.

    Charlie is also wrong to assume that belligerent protests are the way to be heard. Too often the noise drowns out the message. Loyalists have had a positive message since the early 1970s and have made a positive impact.

    But Loyalists could easily be diverted into sectarian animosity. This would take us back to the past. It would destroy our hopes and perhaps damage the Union itself. The Unionist Parties would enjoy the sight of Loyalists inflicting serious damage on their prospects. They hypocritically describe protestors as Loyalists rather than unionists.

    The UUP and DUP are conservative parties with little interest in the welfare of the working class. They must not be allowed to further damage our relationship with Catholics. Many Catholics understand where we come from. Some tell me they even support protests against designated days. However I also know that designated days make it easier for Catholics to live with the Union Flag.

    As for the supposed consultation in my understanding this was carried out in East Belfast. In other words it is inaccurate because the result was already determined by the way the “survey” was carried out.

    The UUP and DUP kicked off protests by suggesting that the Alliance Party wanted the Union Flag “ripped down”. Alliance was an easy scapegoat and many people have been taken in. Loyalists are now in danger of becoming marginalized as sectarian Neanderthals.

    Flags have long been a means of manipulating the working class. But Chartlie Freel’s protests against a Tricolour in Divis Street in 1964 brought literally thousands of Tricolours onto the streets. It also recruited the late Martin Meehan and others into the IRA. In this sense Divis Street was a pyric victory won in reality by Republicans.

    The “Reds under the Bed” rhetoric was used to damage the prospects of Loyalists moving towards a critical non-sectarian agenda. Right wing Unionists and British Intelligence condemned both the UDA and the UVF for adopting their nonsectarian stance. An intelligent critical analysis is what they fear most.

    But protests over flags keeps animosity going and ensures that people vote for the big Unionist Parties who have nothing to offer the working class. Yet despite Paisley’s antics Loyalists have been significant players in winning the war of ideas.

    Sinn Fein now operates a British system with support from the Irish Republic. Our Britishness is not and cannot be eroded. After a hundred years Britishness still survives and is beginning to prosper in the Irish Republic.

    Dissident Republicans deeply resent Sinn Fein’s sell-out to the Brits. We in Ulster are actually becoming more British by stopping the flaunting of Union Flags, all day and everyday.

    The PUP like the UPRG represents a more progressive politics. Flaunting flags or dying for Ulster is back to the future politics. It is now time to live for a better Northern Ireland, to work for better educational and job opportunities for working class areas. We need to demand social and economic development in deprived areas.

    Something positive can be born from the protests. Working class politics can be reinvigorated but we need to watch out for the machinations of mainline Unionist Parties.

    There is also a potential reservoir of support within the nationalist community. Catholics are not natural Sinn Fein supporters but to broaden support for Loyalists, we must get up of our knees to work for a better future for ourselves and for everyone else.

    The War is Over it’s Time to Go Home.

    Roy Garland

  3. Charlie Freel

    I welcome Roy Garlands comments, this site is open to all sincere Loyalists. As I have often said before there are many different strands of loyalism. I would much rather have Roy Garland giving his opinions here free of charge, instead of being paid to write in the Irish News, exactly what republicans want to read. Iam sorry to disappoint Roy, but as an ex-British soldier, ex-Belfast fireman and ex Loyalist Prisoner, I have never been grateful for his token Prod contributions in the Irish News. As for the Irish New’s new Johnney come lately the fur coated Alex Kane, they are welcome to him. Again Roy is wrong in his assertion that Catholics are not natural Sinn Fein supporters, with every passing election they continue in ever increasing numbers to abandon their Christian Faith, in favour of the Bloody Hands of Slaughter, unlike their Protestant neighbours, who have constantly shunned those of us who have taken up arms, in defence of our democratic right to decide our own future. As a result of their peaceful protest in defence of our National Standards right to be flown, from the City Hall in the National Capital of Northern Ireland, Roy Garland describes the peaceful protesters as as belligerent flouters of the flag. He tells us that the consultation process with regard to the flying the National Standard was confined to East Belfast, I find that hard to believe, but even if that is so, it does not excuse either Roy Garland, or the Alliance’s belligerently undemocratic refusal to accept the findings of that consultation, or give them the right to treat the Working Class Loyalists of East Belfast as an irrelevant under-class. Roy then goes on to quote the favourite saying of my two old ex-friends and comrades Gusty Spence and Davy Ervine, “The War is Over it’s Time to Go Home.” My reply to Roy Garland, is the same as the reply that I gave Gusty and Davy. ” Wise up, the real war has just begun.”
    Charlie Freel.